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barn beam

Reclaimed Barn Beam Bench & Harvey the Bear

I may be nuts, I may be crazy, but I don’t care. When I spy old worn wood, I can’t help but snatch it up and begin to create in my mind. Do you do that too? This pile o’ goodness is my subject for today’s Trash to Treasure day. Part of this is going to become the reclaimed barn beam bench I’ve had in my brain for YEARS. The other is going to be something fun. Stick around to see because there’s something important I want to share with you. Also, you’ll want to see what my blogger friends have created too! (I’m so excited!)

Reclaimed Wood Pile at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Yes, this wood is old, it is full of patina, and oh so much potential. The barn beam pieces are actually the remnants from when we added our barn beam mantel to our family room, oh about four years ago. ahem.  You can see how we added it as a floating mantel to our stone fireplace in this post, and how I updated it all over HERE. Read more

Faux Barn Beam Ceiling ~ Master Bedroom Remodel

Do you love the look of farmhouse barn beams, but lack the barn? We have a trick up our sleeve to show you how you can make your own faux barn beam ceiling. As we continue to make progress in our master bedroom remodeling project, we will be sharing details along the way. You can see read about the beginning of the story in Part 1, where we tackled our glued on carpet. ick.

This is the before…
Farmhouse Style Master Bedroom with Sunbleached Gray Floors by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces…floors are beautifully finished.  Yippee!
Farmhouse Style Master Bedroom with Sunbleached Gray Floors by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesNow, on to the faux barn beam ceiling.  Remember we live in a 1952 Gunnison ranch home, which offers some quirky building features that we have tried to deal with in different ways.  When we bought the home 13 years ago (yikes! has it been that long already?), we did major renovations ourselves, like doors, windows, roof, etc.  Even hit most every room with upgrades except our bedroom.
Originally, the ceiling has a popcorn-type texture and we decided to stipple the ceiling to give it a textured effect.  That worked fine, but really bothered me that the ceilings were still slightly uneven because of the wood panels that were used.
Fast forward 13 years and here we are:
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)
Do you see the seam in the upper right corner?  Stippling just didn’t hide it like I wanted, even though it looked much better than its original state.
Our solution was to take 1/4 luan (plywood) and rip it into 8″ pieces to simulate an old-school planked flooring above.  Thankfully, the wonderful guys at Home Depot made the cuts for us at no cost. (we were originally quoted .25 cents per cut – cha ching!!  Saving!!)  It took us four 4′ x 8′ panels to do our 12′ x 12′ ceiling.
The only prep work for the wood was hitting the cut sides with my sander to remove the rigid edges.
To install the strips, we used my self-given birthday gift, my pneumatic nailer to quickly get them up.  (or use the AirStrike, my latest nailer mentioned here) To create the gap, we just grabbed a scrap piece of 1/8″ thick pressed board and it worked great.
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
If you notice in the picture above, we were going to end up with seams at some point across our ceiling because the 8′ panels won’t cover a 12′ ceiling.  Don’t worry, we had a plan.
We intended to have the seams land in a spot that would be covered by the faux flooring beams we were going to add at a later point. Otherwise we would have staggered the joints.
Once the panels were up, we just needed to hide the nail heads with a small swipe of wood filler.  Looking better already!!  (Thank you, JC!)
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesThen, we just hit those puttied spots with a light sanding to create a smooth surface.
We wanted to keep with the idea of creating a light, relaxing space, so we painted the ceilings in one of my favorite cool white paints by Behr, Dove White. (sorry, no pics of the painted part before beams)  Just a couple coats with a roller and a bit of touch up with a brush to the seams.
Now for the beams.
We bought four simple pine beams (1 – 2″ x 6″ x 12′, 3 – 2″ x 6″ x 10′), and distressed them to get that rustic hand-hewn barn beam look.
My husband just took our hatchet and went down the out edges hacking away in random motions.  (Yes, he is out on our heat-wave day of 20 degrees – seriously, we were happy to have that temperature!!)
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesThen, to get the face of the beam roughed up, he took his Bosch planer and hit it in random points while on it’s lowest setting.  You could use a hand planer as well, if you don’t have a tool like this one. (You really should get yourself one of these, they rock!)
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesWe choose to use a nice contrasting stain from Varathane, called Early American. I use this stain in many of my projects…see them in these posts.
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesNext, to mount the beams, we ran them perpendicular to the seams of the wood strips to get the feel that they were supporting the faux upper floor.
We located the studs in the ceiling, and measured their layout. Then, we copied that pattern onto the beam and pre-drilled holes so we could easily screw them in while holding them up. (So thankful our 11 yr. old is big enough to help because my pregnant self can’t do much!)
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesHere’s  closer look of the hand-hewn effect.
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces


At this point I’m starting to swoon because I can see our plans coming to fruition.
DIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesSo there you have it, not in it’s complete state because we’re still going to add a couple of 2″ x 4″ to the outer sides to finish the faux upper floor look, but need to tackle the walls first.
Do pin and share to inspire others to stop wishing and start doing. It only takes a little DIY and you can have the look you’re after too.
DIY Farmhouse Style Faux Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com
We love how the ceiling turned out and are very happy with the results. Sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar or at the bottom of this post to get updates in your inbox. Head below to see more of our remodel.

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Come see how we took on our floors and then how we planked our walls after our faux barn beam ceiling.

Farmhouse Style Master Bedroom with Sunbleached Gray Floors by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesDIY Farmhouse Style Master Bedroom Reveal by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Autumn Inspiration & DIY Floating Mantel

It’s finally September and autumn is just around the corner! Yippee! Do you love fall like I do? I’ve got it so bad that I switch the Christmas song to this season, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The colors, harvest time, fall festivals, knowing things are slowing down all make it seem so comforting. My husband tells me that it’s sort of weird I like it because everything is dying. Not so!  Everything is going to sleep and taking a rest, including me!! Tsk.

Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

 About a year ago, I decided to finally get a mantel put on our fireplace and I knew just what I wanted. A barn beam mantel.  Not a shiny, glamorous looking mantle, but a rustic, roughed up, story-telling mantel. I knew I could find one somewhere in the farm country I live in, so I put a wanted out on Freecycle (willing to pay), Craigslist, etc., and bingo! Freecycle came through and guy had torn down a barn and had all sorts of goodies for me to peruse.

At $4 a foot, this was a steal because no one wants old-looking barn beams, except rare finds like me. ahem. We took the whole family and had a blast because rarely do we get to be out on farm with all its sights, sounds, and animals. It didn’t take long for me to find the perfect beam with perfect imperfections.

A floating mantel was the option we did, which basically means that it doesn’t attach to “legs”, but looks as if it is floating on the wall. Want to do one yourself?  You don’t have to use a barn beam, but anything you want really. It’s pretty simple, but there are a few necessary steps to take to make it safe and secure.

Here’s what you’ll need:

*this post does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love!

First, check the codes in your area for installing a mantel. We have a raised hearth, with a fireplace insert, and added 13″ from the top of the insert, putting the top of our mantel at 49″ above the hearth. Once you’ve figured out your height, you will need to find the studs in the wall with a stud finder or other method.

Next, grab a tape measure and mark the spots across the wall, making sure you’ll be landing in a stud at the correct height. Double-check by using a level and chalk line marker to give you a visible guide. Since we are drilling into our bricks, we found a mortar line and used it as a guide.

You will need to know the length of your mantel to figure how many bolts you will need. When you’ve got your measurement you’ll want to use this formula:

  • Find center – mark it with chalk.  Starting from center, measure out 12″ each direction and mark. We used 5 bolts for our 7’4″ beam at 12″ apart, leaving large space at ends because of the openings in our beam.  You could go to the edge.
Once you’ve got your marks, you will need to drill the holes for the sleeves with the hammer drill and 3/4″ bit. Mark your bit with tape at 3″ to make sure you get the accurate depth. Tap the sleeves in with a small sledge until flush with the wall.
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Using the ratchet and appropriate socket, anchor down the lag bolts, leaving 3″ sticking out. Then take your hacksaw or angle grinder and cut the heads off the bolts. This will allow you to slide the mantel onto the bolts easily.
Grab your chalk and rub it on the end of the bolts in the wall. You could measure and mark your mantel on the backside for the bolts, but that can be a little tricky, so we decided to just lift the mantel up to the chalked bolts and press it into them to get the mirror image on the mantel. That way we would know where to drill. Just be precise as can be when pressing the mantel onto the bolts.
Now, drill the mantel, using the 1/2″ drill bit, on the chalk marks you just made on the mantel. Do a dry fit to see if your holes line up. We had to tweak ours just a bit, but for the most part we got it. Our dry run was so hard to remove that we felt it wasn’t necessary to use an epoxy. However, there is any epoxy that is made specifically for wood to metal, just go to your local hardware store and ask.
Mount the mantel and let cure (if using epoxy) and then break out the decorations!!
Ta da!! My hubby did most of the work because this was my Mother’s Day present. I am very pleased to have it!
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
My autumn mantel is not yet complete because the local gourds and goods have yet to be harvested, but…lookin’ good so far don’t you think? Become a follower to see updates!
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Don’t you just love the hand-hewn beam with the hand-hewn crossbeam notches? Can you see the hand-drilled holes in the notches? I am in awe of the craftsmanship.
How about you…what do you do to celebrate autumn?
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
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Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
More DIY goodness for you:
DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Old Pallets by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesDIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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